The God-Idea of the Ancients - or Sex in Religion
111 Pages
English
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The God-Idea of the Ancients - or Sex in Religion

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111 Pages
English

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Published 08 December 2010
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Project Gutenberg's The God-Idea of the Ancients, by Eliza Burt Gamble This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The God-Idea of the Ancients or Sex in Religion Author: Eliza Burt Gamble Release Date: November 26, 2009 [EBook #639] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE GOD-IDEA OF THE ANCIENTS *** Produced by Charles Keller, and David Widger THE GOD-IDEA OF THE ANCIENTS OR SEX IN RELIGION By Eliza Burt Gamble Author of "The Evolution of Woman" PREFACE. Much of the material for this volume was collected during the time that I was preparing for the press the Evolution of Woman, or while searching for data bearing on the subject of sexspecialization. While preparing that book for publication, it was my intention to include within it this branch of my investigation, but wishing to obtain certain facts relative to the foundations of religious belief and worship which were not accessible at that time, and knowing that considerable labor and patience would be required in securing these facts, I decided to publish the first part of the work, withholding for the time being that portion of it pertaining especially to the development of the God-idea. As mankind construct their own gods, or as the prevailing ideas of the unknowable reflect the inner consciousness of human beings, a trustworthy history of the growth of religions must correspond to the processes involved in the mental, moral, and social development of the individual and the nation. By means of data brought forward in these later times relative to the growth of the God-idea, it is observed that an independent chain of evidence has been produced in support of the facts recently set forth bearing upon the development of the two diverging lines of sexual demarcation. In other words, it has been found that sex is the fundamental fact not only in the operations of Nature but in the construction of a god. In the Evolution of Woman it has been shown that the peculiar inheritance of the two sexes, female and male, is the result of the bias given to these separate lines of development during the earliest periods of sex-differentiation; and, as this division of labor was a necessary step in the evolutionary processes, the rate of progress depended largely on the subsequent adjustment of these two primary elements or forces. A comprehensive study of prehistoric records shows that in an earlier age of existence upon the earth, at a time when woman's influence was in the ascendancy over that of man, human energy was directed by the altruistic characters which originated in and have been transmitted through the female; but after the decline of woman's power, all human institutions, customs, forms, and habits of thought are seen to reflect the egoistic qualities acquired by the male. Nowhere is the influence of sex more plainly manifested than in the formulation of religious conceptions and creeds. With the rise of male power and dominion, and the corresponding repression of the natural female instincts, the principles which originally constituted the Godidea gradually gave place to a Deity better suited to the peculiar bias which had been given to the male organism. An anthropomorphic god like that of the Jews—a god whose chief attributes are power and virile might—could have had its origin only under a system of masculine rule. Religion is especially liable to reflect the vagaries and weaknesses of human nature; and, as the forms and habits of thought connected with worship take a firmer hold on the mental constitution than do those belonging to any other department of human experience, religious conceptions should be subjected to frequent and careful examination in order to perceive, if possible, the extent to which we are holding on to ideas which are unsuited to existing conditions. In an age when every branch of inquiry is being subjected to reasonable criticism, it would seem that the origin and growth of religion should be investigated from beneath the surface, and that all the facts bearing upon it should be brought forward as a contribution to our fund of general information. As well might we hope to gain a complete knowledge of human history by studying only the present aspect of society, as to expect to reach reasonable conclusions respecting the prevailing God-idea by investigating the various creeds and dogmas of existing faiths. The object of this volume is not only to furnish a brief outline of religious growth, but to show the effect which each of the two forces, female and male, has had on the development of our present God-idea, which investigation serves to accentuate the conclusions arrived at in the Evolution of Woman relative to the inheritance of each of the two lines of sexual demarcation. E.B.G. Contents PREFACE. THE GOD-IDEA OF THE ANCIENTS. INTRODUCTION. CHAPTER I. CHAPTER II. CHAPTER III. CHAPTER IV. CHAPTER V. CHAPTER VI. CHAPTER VII. CHAPTER VIII. CHAPTER IX. SEX THE FOUNDATION OF THE GOD-IDEA TREE, PLANT, AND FRUIT WORSHIP SUN-WORSHIP—FEMALE AND MALE ENERGIES IN THE SUN THE DUAL GOD OF THE ANCIENTS A TRINITY ALSO SEPARATION OF THE FEMALE AND HALE ELEMENTS IN THE DEITY CIVILIZATION OF AN ANCIENT RACE CONCEALMENT OF THE EARLY DOCTRINES THE ORIGINAL GOD-IDEA OF THE ISRAELITES THE PHOENICIAN AND HEBREW GOD SET OR SETH CHAPTER X. CHAPTER XI. CHAPTER XII. CHAPTER XIII. CHAPTER XIV. CHAPTER XV. CHAPTER XVI. CHAPTER XVII. CHAPTER XVIII. ANCIENT SPECULATIONS CONCERNING CREATION FIRE AND PHALLIC WORSHIP AN ATTEMPT TO PURIFY THE SENSUALIZED FAITHS CHRISTIANITY A CONTINUATION OF PAGANISM CHRISTIANITY A CONTINUATION OF PAGANISM—(Continued) CHRISTIANITY IN IRELAND STONES OR COLUMNS AS THE DEITY SACRIFICES THE CROSS AND A DYING SAVIOR THE GOD-IDEA OF THE ANCIENTS. INTRODUCTION. Through a study of the primitive god-idea as manifested in monumental records in various parts of the world; through scientific investigation into the early religious conceptions of mankind as expressed by symbols which appear in the architecture and decorations of sacred edifices and shrines; by means of a careful examination of ancient holy objects and places still extant in every quarter of the globe, and through the study of antique art, it is not unlikely that a line of investigation has been marked out whereby a tolerably correct knowledge of the processes involved in our present religious systems may be obtained. The numberless figures and sacred emblems which appear carved in imperishable stone in the earliest cave temples; the huge towers, monoliths, and rocking stones found in nearly every country of